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Schools Decry High Cost of KCPE SMS

Immediately after the Kenya National Examination Council (KCPE) results were officially released by the Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha, the parents and pupils were told they could alternatively get individual results through an SMS short code 20076.

Sending the index number of the candidate to the code, the individual would get the results almost immediately. The premium charges of Sh 25 are deducted from one’s airtime.

Also school principals could download the results from Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) website.

Due to high demand and anxiety by parents, pupils, and Head Teachers, most of them use SMS platform.

The service which is available across all service providers Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom charges an equal amount per student.

The KNEC website also experienced technical challenges due to the high number of clients.

On spot check to get the results from various primary schools, most Head Teachers and managers were still unable to compile the results.

They blamed the jam in the website and the expensive alternative source via the short SMS.

Stephen Mugo, Manager of Good Shepherd Academy-Kerugoya, said downloading results will take time as nearly all Head Teachers are accessing the site.

He noted that the SMS was becoming expensive considering the population of the candidates he had.

“We are yet to get all the results, we are in the process of downloading which is a bit slow, SMS is faster but too expensive,” Mugo said.

Mugo further requested KNEC to consider reducing the charges in future to enable most people get the results at cheaper rates. His schools registered over 80 candidates.

“KNEC should reduce these charges as we cannot pay for all candidates at that higher rate,” He lamented

His sentiments were echoed by the Director of The Effort Schools in Kerugoya, John Kabue, whose institution has 153 KCPE candidates.

Kabue, the Former Chairman of the Kenya Private School Association, urged the Ministry and other concerned institution to check on the charges of getting results through SMS.

“We have sent SMS but the cost of it hasn’t taken us even half of our candidates. The Ministry should liaise with service providers to reduce the price,” Kabue urged.

By Mutai Kipngetich

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